, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 327-378

A global model of changing N2O emissions from natural and perturbed soils

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Abstract

A high resolution global model of the terrestrial biosphere is developed to estimate changes in nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from 1860–1990. The model is driven by four anthropogenic perturbations, including land use change and nitrogen inputs from fertilizer, livestock manure, and atmospheric deposition of fossil fuel NO x . Global soil nitrogen mineralization, volatilization, and leaching fluxes are estimated by the model and converted to N2O emissions based on broad assumptions about their associated N2O yields. From 1860–1990, global N2O emissions associated with soil nitrogen mineralization are estimated to have decreased slightly from 5.9 to 5.7 Tg N/yr, due mainly to land clearing, while N2O emissions associated with volatilization and leaching of excess mineral nitrogen are estimated to have increased sharply from 0.45 to 3.3 Tg N/yr, due to all four anthropogenic perturbations. Taking into account the impact of each perturbation on soil nitrogen mineralization and on volatilization and leaching of excess mineral nitrogen, global 1990 N2O emissions of 1.4, 0.7, 0.4 and 0.08 Tg N/yr are attributed to fertilizer, livestock manure, land clearing and atmospheric deposition of fossil fuel NO x , respectively. Consideration of both the short and long-term fates of fertilizer nitrogen indicates that the N2O/fertilizer-N yield may be 2% or more.

Now at the NOAA Aeronomy Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado.